Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The efficacy of mindfulness-based meditation in attenuating sleep disturbances among high trait ruminators
by Vivek, Venugopal, Ph.D., Kent State University, 2013, 76; 3618844
Abstract (Summary)

Negative affect is widely recognized as a common precipitant of both subjective and objective sleep disturbances (Vandekerckhove & Cluydts, 2010). Since repetitive thought forms such as rumination can sustain negative affect states, they may play a critical role in the etiology of sleep impairment. However, extant research suffers from a number of methodological shortcomings, including a lack of objective sleep assessment and 'first-night' effects. Further, this literature has yet to adequately address the treatment implications of the association between rumination and sleep. Mindfulness-based meditation has emerged as a favorable candidate for such an intervention in recent years (Carney & Segal, 2005). Therefore, the present studies aimed to investigate the association between rumination and sleep outcomes using a multi-method approach to sleep assessment. The efficacy of mindfulness-based meditation in extinguishing rumination and improving sleep was also explored.

A sample of 42 university students who scored high on a trait-level measure of rumination participated in two, week-long studies. Participants provided informed consent, received an actiwatch, and were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness or distraction group before the studies began. During Study 1, participants in both groups completed brief, electronic questionnaires assessing daily levels of rumination just prior to bedtime. Immediately after waking, participants reported the duration and quality of sleep they experienced the previous night. Analyses revealed that daily rumination (z = 2.44; p < .05) was significantly associated with actigraphy-based sleep-onset latency (SOL), but not with total sleep time (TST) or sleep efficiency (SE). Daily rumination was also significantly associated with self-reported SOL (z = 3.18; p < .01) and SQ (z = 2.39; p < .01), but not with TST. </p>

During Study 2, participants in the mindfulness and distraction groups partook respectively in a mindfulness- or distraction-induction task immediately after the nightly questionnaires. A significant effect emerged between group membership and actigraphy-based SOL (z = - 2.13; p < .05), diary-based TST (z = 2.38; p < .05), and diary-based SQ (z = - 2.88; p < .05), with the mindfulness group reporting better sleep outcomes. With respect to within-person effects over the course of the two studies, the mindfulness group exhibited shorter actigraphy-based SOL (z = - 2.30; p < .05), higher actigraphy-based SE (z = 6.54; p < .01), and higher diary-based SQ (z = - 2.22, p < .05) during Study 2 than during Study 1. There were no significant differences in any sleep outcome between Studies 1 and 2 for the distraction group.

These data suggest that rumination is associated with both subjective and objective sleep impairment, and that mindfulness-based meditation can help attenuate this effect. Implications for current behavioral treatments for insomnia are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ciesla, Jeffrey A.
School: Kent State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health care management, Physiological psychology
Keywords: Mindfulness, Rumination, Sleep
Publication Number: 3618844
ISBN: 978-1-303-87363-8
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